I implore the powers that be to implement some type of governing body that can approve, disapprove, reject or accept what comes and goes through our culture Hip-Hop. Said authoritative group would consist of Hip-Hop’s elite and influential players like Chuck D of Public Enemy, founding father Kool Herc, mogul Russell Simmons, rap god Melle Mel and even newer cats like “cult leader” Cam’Ron. This utopian government would also include political power players like Davey D, the Nation of Islam, NAACP and other grassroots organizations.
In my fantasy, the first order of business for such a Hip-Hop regime would be to issue out some type of warning as we draw closer to drama, disaster and quite possibly death. Death, disaster, drama and Hip-Hop have become like roommates that get along quite well.
Remember the incident at Hot 97 when one of Game’s men was allegedly shot by one of 50 Cent’s men? My system could have prevented that quickly and quelled the beef before that mess got to that level.
Perhaps foolishly, my system is loosely based on the flawed Homeland Security color code system, which was like a sick, manic inside joke by the government. I just can envision that some administrative fear-monger is behind the scenes like, “Watch this: I’m going to raise the terror warning all the way to red and watch them cower in fear of another September 11.” My system isn’t that. It’s more of a theory for conflict resolution in Hip-Hop.
Illseed presents the “AllHipHop Security Advisory System”:
LOW: This is when Hip-Hop is at its most peaceful. I would say that we achieved this after the Million Man March in 1995, but Hip-Hop has never truly had a period where there was a complete lull in the drama. (This excludes the Sugar Hill Gang era. All I know is people were hip-hoppin’ to the boogie to be.) Clearly, this level of serenity is an impossible dream that would only occur if Jesus Christ himself were to return to mankind as the host of the 2007 Source Awards. Even then, people would be looking to wild-out, getting J.Khrist (his rap handle) to verify his identity. Nevertheless, like New York with armed soldiers roaming the streets with machine guns this state of serenity is never to be.
GUARDED: This level is like an immense calm prior to dark cloud formation. You know some rain is about to fall. See, after Tupac and Biggie died within six months of each other, Hip-Hop was in shock even though the streets were still wilding. Here is when we start to look for patterns that will reveal future beef. For example, when 50 Cent recorded “How To Rob,” I could see that somebody was going to strike at him. And, I could see that he was going to return with bloody vengeance in his eyes. Obviously, that lust for paper and reprisal fueled 50 and gave us a classic album in Get Rich or Die Tryin,’ but at what costs? My system would detect and pinpoint potential problems with our people. It would also identify trends like the parallels between Biggie & Pac and 50 Cent & The Game.
ELEVATED: Now, the “Elevated” stage of Hip-Hop terror is the most common, tragic and the most comedic. This is the phase where people get caught with guns on top of the dashboard. “Yo, son I’m around heat so much, son, that I didn’t even notice that the gun was on the dash,” says MC Rapper of the arrest by NYPD. Other rappers may commit minor crimes like beating up a handicapped midget in order to catch a minor case that will go away without much punishment. This “elevated” state is the promotional phase, where somebody needs a headline as his or her album release date comes forward. Clearly, we evil media outlets will run with this titillating news every time, because that is what slimy reporters do. However, this is the phase where disaster festers and breeds. AW NAW! The midget was trained in torture tactics while in Tibet for seven years and decides to practice on you. S**T! The arresting cop is a racist that seeks to be promoted into the Hip-Hop Police Department. This is where intervention is needed most, between “Guarded” and “Elevated.”
HIGH: However, we must move on. By this “High” point beef has already busted loose and you need to bring in Min. Louis Farrakhan. I’m sorry, but no substitute will do. Now, I can assure you that if Farrakhan administered these “rap truces,” we wouldn’t be having this hot bed of heat we are having now. Whether you love him or not, Farrakhan is one of the most sturdy figures in our community and he’s regularly intervened into Hip-Hop beefs to put out fires that are turning into infernos. Remember Common and Ice Cube’s beef? If not, that’s partially because of The Minister. So, MC Rapper give The Nation a call and meet the Honorable Min. Farrakhan you won’t be the same.
SEVERE: I’m not sure if Hip-Hop has seen the severe stage yet. The closest would be the Bad Boy/ Death Row situation, which did spin wildly out of anybody’s control. After the horrific deaths of B.I.G. and ‘Pac, Farrakhan did meet with Diddy and Snoop a few months too late. The Shyne situation is an example of when the “Severe” phase just explodes out of nowhere and innocent people are injured as bystanders in a heated exchange. At that point, you say, "S**t happens." Sadly, at this stage, most of us unrelated people have to sort of protest the problems from the sidelines. Jumping in is like volunteering for the military during wartime. Still, the public outcry is such that we often return to the “Low” phase after some type of peace proclamation.
CONCLUSION: If Hip-Hop is that “crack” as so many of the rappers say it might be time for a new drug as rock legend Huey Lewis once sang. I am the Hip-Hop junkie that Nice-N-Smooth once rapped about, not some of these corny yahoos. I’m not a complete fan of peace, because that gets boring fast! But, I am not a fan of this rampant manipulation from the visible fist and the unseen hand. Now in London we have seen recent hostile activity from some terror group that has disrupted the bloody “peace” further. Take a moment and ask yourself, “ Do we have similar forces in Hip-Hop?”
Illseed is an AllHipHop.com columnist and heads up the Rumors section. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.